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Clos des Epenots is a 4.89 hectare monopole of Domaine de Courcel with vines aging over 60 years old. When sampled in the fall of 2018 the wine was beginning to show pretty mature notes of wild cherry, red plum, and sousbois, with the tannins resolving nicely. John Mcilwain
Sourced from several parcels spread across the village's diverse soils and climates, this is a serious village wine. It's marked by raspberry and darker berries like black cherry as well as baking spices and a touch of hoisin in the mid-palate. There is good weight here and enough acidity to suggest that this will age well for at least five to eight years. Another very good value.
Was $104.99 Tuvilains is a recent addition to the lineup at the estate. It sits much further south and just below Pertuisots on the slope. The dense clay in the soil is rich in iron oxide and makes sturdy structured wines. This is the yardstick for extraction levels these days at the domaine. The 2018 is certainly squared-shouldered in its mouthfeel but once again it shows plenty of pure and bright red fruit and the finish shows a lovely mineral coolness. This may take a couple of years to really come together but will be delicious with a little time in a decanter and should age very well. Sam Ehrlich
Tuvilains is a recent addition to the lineup at the estate. It sits much further south and just below Pertuisots on the slope. The dense clay in the soil is rich in iron oxide and makes sturdy structured wines. This is the yardstick for extraction levels these days at the domaine. The 2018 is certainly squared-shouldered in its mouthfeel but once again it shows plenty of pure and bright red fruit and the finish shows a lovely mineral coolness. This may take a couple of years to really come together but will be delicious with a little time in a decanter and should age very well. Sam Ehrlich
Sourced from the vines at the foot of 1er Cru Brouillards that spill over into the village-level and averaging fifty years old, this is very much of a piece with Jessiaume's other recent offerings. There is plenty of red and blue fruit without the overripe feel that affects some '18s. It feels full-ish and round in the mouth, without any any real apparent oak influence and with very good length at the back end. Very good for the level and good value here. Sam Ehrlich
Honest Burgundy at this price is an increasingly rare bird these days. From two vineyards in Santenay with EcoCert certification, the 2018 is full and round upon opening, with juicy raspberry and black cherry fruit, baking spices and a touch of cola. But with air, it gains tension and elegance and the Burgundy minerality becomes more apparent. This is very satisfying and will likely improve, but why wait? Bottled under screwcap. Sam Ehrlich
Jean-Claude Rateau has a large parcel in the 1er Cru Les Bressandes on a steep slope facing east with pebbly clay/limestone soils, conducted in biodynamic farming since 1979. The soil is warm and well-drained giving ripe, structured wines. There is a 21-day cuvaison with manual cap-punching followed by 18 months in old barrels.Even with the minimal extraction practiced at the estate, the 2018 Bressandes shows a dense red/black color and lush aromas of ripe black cherry and blackberry, quite deep with sous-bois, violet, graphite and citrus. The palate is dense, elegant and chalky with blackberry, earth, bitter chocolate and minerals with terrific length of black fruits, earth and juicy acidity. Hints of iron, blood and roast meat indicate a very interesting aging potential for this wine. Given the weight and ripeness of the vintage, the wine still seems balanced and frames the copious fruit in ample acidity and tannin. This is a beautiful wine that will give great pleasure in its youth and should be a superb mature wine as well, with a long life ahead of it... David Lillie
From vines grown in the calcareous clay soils of Les Reversées premier cru toward the bottom of the hill in the center of the slope by Les Teurons. This is a bit more delicate and lower in alcohol than Rateau's "Bressandes" but still quite deep and generous in 2018 showing ripe black cherry, boysenberry, notes of cherry pit and earth on the nose. The palate is quite dense but still with nice brightness with ripe black fruits, hints of iodine and iron and soil beneath supple structure. Succulent acidity and savory mineral notes offset the ripeness and lend energy and drive on a rich, palate-coating finish which is very long with elegant black raspberry and red currant fruit. The purity of fruit and earth notes are finely balanced - this is an excellent Burgundy for the mid-term. A fine pairing with braised chicken thighs with mustard, tarragon, and shallots. A great value from the pioneer of biodynamic Burgundy!
Located toward the bottom of the slope beneath Beaune Grèves and adjacent to Les Cents Vignes, Clos des Mariages is a mix of young and very old vines planted in clay and brown limestone soils. "This fertile soil gives wines that are open and joyous, with delicate spice notes, giving great pleasure in their youth and capable of long-term aging." (J-C Rateau) Indeed the 2020 Clos des Mariages is a gorgeous wine showing a bright mélange of black cherry, strawberry and raspberry with hints of spice, citrus, licorice and violet. The palate shows dense, chalky fruit, sappy and ripe but with firm acidity and mineral flavors that continue in the very long, juicy finish. This is absolutely delicious now and should drink well continuously over the next ten to fifteen years. David Lillie
Jean-Claude Rateau makes this lovely, light-bodied Burgundy from a small parcel of 50 year-old vines in AOC Hautes Côtes de Beaune, certified biodynamic, "lyre ouverte" pruning. The 2020 shows a bright red/garnet color, with very pretty aromas of tart cherry and raspberry with hints of rose, spice and violet. The palate is light but sapid, and beautifully flavored with bright cherry, red currant and raspberry fruit supported by fresh acidity. There is excellent length of berry fruits, mineral flavors and citrusy acids in the finish. This is an elegant Pinot Noir to serve cool with chicken and game birds, fish in sauce, grilled pork and mild cheeses - just delicious! David Lillie
Vincent worked for years at Domaine Lecheneault and struck out on his own in just 2006. His holding are tiny, a common problem for new producers in Burgundy, and he produces maybe 10,000 bottles between half a dozen appellations. All the vines are certified organic, there are no new barrels in the cellar and the sulfur additions are extremely low. This old-vine bottling of Savigny-les-Beaune comes from two parcels: "Les Connardises," planted in 1927, and "Aux Petits Liards," planted in 1954. While this has the strong bones and spine that one associates with Savigny, it is nonetheless distinctly in Ledy's style, with intense aromatic power and a lithe, understated quality. The fruit is all red berries, bright and crisp. Overall this is quite elegant for the level and worth considering for mid-term cellaring as well as drinking immediately. Sam Ehrlich
The lieu-dit "Les Mombies" is situated downslope by the road with limestone clay soils. The 2017 Les Mombies is aromatically reticent on opening with notes of black tea, hedge fruits, and soil. With air it becomes more expressive with blackberry, Italian plum, and game. The mid-weight palate offers dark fruit flavors and good concentration over a fine mineral core and tannins that are more crushed velvet than silken, and this has fine fresh acidity and nice lift on the finale. There are plenty of layers here even if full expressiveness is implied at this point. This is a lovely Chambolle "villages" and ought to shine with 3-5 years in the cellar and beyond. John McIlwain
Cyprien Arlaud, of the venerable Domaine Arlaud, has done an astonishing amount of work over the 25 years since he took over the family estate to turn it into a top-tier Burgundy domaine. Certified biodynamic since 2014, the viticulture here is some of the best in the Cote de Nuits. OKA is a lovely Bourgogne Rouge, sourced from forty-year old vine from Morey, Chambolle and Vougeot. It's got lovely dark cherry fruit, mushroomy earth notes and a brambly leafiness. There is no new oak here, just pure Pinot tastiness. Sam Ehrlich
This is from vines planted around 1975 and is always a favorite in the lineup. The soils here are sandy, pebbly and well drained and the fruit is fermented about 25% whole bunch. Combined with Laurent's rather gentle fermentations, this yields a buoyant juicy wine that is full of pleasure. While the fruit is a touch darker than the incredibly bright-red 2017, this is still full of quenching acidity and a generally refreshing quality. The stems give it a touch of spice and rose notes and boost the overall sense of energy. Sam Ehrlich
From 50 to 85 year-old vines in "La Croix Violette" and "Les Vignois," mid-slope in Brochon, close to Fixin. 30% whole cluster fermentation in 30% new oak. This showed a bit of reduction on opening but cleared up with a spin in a decanter and left us with a lovely serious Cote de Nuits Village. There is more dark cherry and raspberry here and a dark spiciness from both the stems and the wood. The texture and structure here is compelling and there is real mineral intensity in the finish. This will easily age for 5-10 years and provide terrific value down the road. Sam Ehrlich
I am often a bit skeptical when a salesperson tells me they have a wine for me to taste that produced in collaboration by two winemakers from different continents. Too often, these things end up feeling gimmick-y and more about branding than winemaking. However, La Combe Grisard turned out to be a happy exception. This wine is the combined efforts of Jeremy Seysses of Domaine Dujac in Morey Saint Denis, and Matt Murphy and Eric Railsback of Presqu'ile Vineyards in Santa Barbara. Eric and Matt have a predilection for whole-cluster winemaking that led to a series of visits over a period of years to work with the Seysses family and Jeremy started visiting Presqu'ile in turn. The vineyard is biodynamically farmed by Dujac and the fruit is fermented with 40% whole bunches and aged only in older barrels. It is marked by the classic wild strawberry fruit that makes Gevrey so particular and the stems add spice and dried red flowers. The energy of 2017 is on full display here. Yummy wine. Sam Ehrlich
From 50-80 year old vines from the 'Les Seuvrees' parcel located right below the Grand Cru Mazoyeres Chambertin.
From two small parcels in "Aux Eletois" (below Grand Cru Griottes) and "les Epointures" (below 1er Cru Clos Prieur) on the more fine and aromatic side of Gevrey. Ruby robe. The nose offers an intriguing contrast between floral aromas and gamy, sauvage notes. For every rose petal, there’s a contrasting earth tone. The tension is compelling. On the palate ripe cherry and raspberry flavors are underlain by a pungent stoniness on a mid-weight, faintly tannic, but fresh, finish. This is delicious, if brambly, now but should gain in suavity with time in the bottle. I’d choose to pair this with something autumnal and savory. Pigéon? Pintade? Daube? John McIlwain
From two small parcels in "Aux Eletois" (below Grand Cru Griottes) and "les Epointures" (below 1er Cru Clos Prieur) on the more fine and aromatic side of Gevrey. The 2018 shows a bright red/garnet color with high-toned aromas of ripe black cherry, black raspberry and red currant with rose, herbal and citrus notes, quite pretty and not over-ripe. The palate shows terrific density of complex red and black fruits with hints of licorice, sous-bois and minerals while retaining a lovely lightness and freshness, with bright acidity under the long vibrant red fruits and mineral flavors that linger in the finish. Grreat fun to drink now, best to wait 5 to 8 years when it will really sing, then drink until 2035 - 2040. David Lillie
Made from Gamay Petit Grains planted in 1953, grown on a limestone parcel high in magnesium, in the Clos des Vignes du Maynes in Cruzille, organic since 900 AD (!), now certified biodynamic. The energetic Julien Guillot vinifies his reds without sulfur or additives of any kind, producing complex, mineral, elegant wines that transcend their appellation. The 2018s here are extraordinary, showing the elegance, purity and balance typical of the estate with the wonderful ripeness of the vintage. The wine shows gorgeous red and black fruit aromas with cranberry, earth, stone and musk and hints of mint, chocolate and spice. The palate is bright and silky with raspberry/strawberry fruit, citrus, stone and earthy flavors, that continue on the very long mineral finish. Always one of the greatest Gamays produced anywhere, the 2018 Manganite is a young wine that will benefit from decanting or five to fifteen years in the cellar. Highly recommended! DL
Made from Gamay Petit Grains planted in 1953, grown on a limestone parcel high in magnesium, in the Clos des Vignes du Maynes in Cruzille, organic since 900 AD (!), now certified Biodynamic. The energetic Julien Guillot vinifies his reds without sulfur or additives of any kind, producing complex, mineral, elegant wines that transcend their appellation. The 2019s here are extraordinary, showing the elegance, purity and balance typical of the estate with the wonderful density and ripeness of the vintage. The wine shows gorgeous red and black fruit aromas with cranberry, earth, stone and musk and hints of mint, chocolate and spice. The palate is bright and intense with blackberry, citrus, stone and earthy flavors, that continue on the very long mineral finish. Always one of the greatest Gamays produced anywhere, the 2019 Manganite is a young wine that will benefit from decanting or five to fifteen years in the cellar. Highly recommended!